The positive impact of ILM qualifications and skills development

A business is only as successful as the people who work in it; that’s why skills development sits at the top of many top-performing companies’ priority lists.

There are clear benefits to upskilling a workforce, whether they are young people starting out as apprentices or middle and senior managers aiming to get the best out of their teams. This is why so many business leaders have turned to the Academy of Leadership & Management to support them through an ILM course which will improve their managerial skills.

Students endorse ILM qualifications

The Academy of Leadership & Management, a leading provider of ILM accredited courses, helps employers of all sizes equip staff with the skills they need to succeed.

Companies have expressed the belief that ILM qualifications give them more ambitious, self-confident and determined employees. For students, it helps to outline a clear career pathway and breeds loyalty as they see their employer investing in their skills development.

We interviewed a range of the Academy of Leadership & Management ILM students to understand how their careers have positively been impacted by their ILM qualifications.

How have previous students benefited from their ilm qualifications?

Olly Braithwaite has been with Manchester-based web-hosting provider for 12 years, rising through the ranks to become Support Team Manager at the SME.

As part of a skills development programme, Olly went through the ILM Level 3 Leadership and Management course, working up from the Award to Certificate level.

ilm qualifications help managers manage

He said: “I came to ALM because I’d worked my way up into management after starting as a frontline tech support worker. I knew what my team does inside out but didn’t necessarily have all the skills needed to manage the team.

I’d been doing what I thought was correct to look after and support the guys. The ILM courses showed me what I was getting right and gave me techniques and abilities to address areas where I wasn’t doing things properly. This has been a godsend.

The ILM qualifications enabled me to focus more on managing the team and strategising in the long term. Instead of showing people how to do things, it’s helped me learn how to direct and lead my team. They know I’m there to support them and that they can come to me with problems.

What I’ve learned through my time with ALM has allowed me the space to think about where we want to be in the future. It’s helped me think tactically and put plans in place for the next 6 months, 12 months and 2 years.

The outlay on the ILM qualifications has paid for itself because the skills and techniques I’ve learned have been of benefit to the business.”

skills development and continual professional development 

“So would I recommend ALM to a friend? Well, I’m trying to talk my wife into taking the Level 3 course as well. She’s the deputy manager of an admin team and I think her career would benefit.”

From John A. Patterson, a highly experienced senior leader and CEO, ILM qualifications provided a way for him to further develop and accredit his existing skills and also facilitate the development of senior colleagues.

John now holds both the ILM Level 7 Certificate and Diploma in Executive Mentoring and Coaching, as well as ILM’s Level 7 Diploma in Leadership and Management.

A lifelong learner, John had built up from an HND in Mechanical Engineering to an MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering then a post-graduate diploma in Management Operations.

He said: “It’s part of my continual professional development to challenge myself academically. I started on ILM courses through ALM when I was working for a global engineering business in Renfrewshire in 2015.

Most senior leaders lack abilities in coaching and mentoring. Organisations are good at giving their employees feedback, but that’s not coaching them. By guiding your people to their answers, by helping them to think for themselves, your people and your business develops and performs better.”

ilm courses draw the best out of teams 

Leaders, managers, coaches and mentors say they have been empowered to draw teams together, get the best out of individual team members and improve over-all performance and productivity.

Using the skills he developed, John introduced a coaching culture that improved his employers’ health and safety record, with a knock-on effect on quality, delivery and cost of products,

John says his coaching and mentoring skills helped companies he has worked with in another key areas such as, the retaining of best talent.

Skill development breeds resilience and talent

He said: “It’s difficult to get the best people into any business as they are in such demand. Therefore, coaching and mentoring techniques that the ILM courses provide have enabled me to facilitate the development of the employees I have coached.

I’ve focused on the ‘promotable’ talent pool – coaching the people the organisation had identified would get to the next level, though they didn’t necessarily know that themselves. The ILM qualifications have helped us strengthen the talent bench, as football managers say.”

John is keen to promote the business-wide benefits of coaching and mentoring. He said: “I’ve formally recorded 280 hours of coaching across 140 sessions since 2015 – a couple of coaching hours each week invested in facilitating employee development or in simple terms making them better.

Through those coaching and mentoring sessions, I’ve helped six people take the next step in their careers. I’ve helped bring their abilities out, releasing what they have inside them. If 20 leaders in an organisation were to do the same, 120 people would be contributing more through challenging themselves – you’d have a fantastic organisation.”